The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Some Reasons Why I Seldom Eat at the Sweet Tomatoes Salad Bar Restaurant

Nothing major.  I am just fascinated by how minor details influence what I like and do not like. Introspection to try to optimize.


I think I have figured out why I dislike eating at Sweet Tomatoes: 

(1) no protein toppings for salads. Not even tofu, let alone chicken, turkey, or steak.  I make do with chili (beans and ground beef), but then I don't visit again for a year or two.

(2) I drink tea: hot tea, a teabag in hot water. No milk or sugar. It irritates me greatly that your restaurant charges me 2.49$ for this - for a teabag that I pay 5 cents for, or seldom more than 40 cents for premium teas much better than you have for sale. Sure, you wash the mug - but by that argument you should charge for a glass of water.  If I could bring my own tea in, in a travel mug, I would be much likelier to eat at your restaurant. As it is, I have the choice of eating a meal at your restaurant with expensive but lousy tea, or eating at a foodcart, good food but not so much salad, with my choice of beverage.

BACKGROUND: I work in a building right across the street from the a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, 4 years, and yet I have only visited twice, in my first week. I was on my way to my normal lunch place - Pita Pit - when I thought to myself "Why don't I like eating at Sweet Tomatoes"? So I decided to try you today, to figure out if I could find a meal that I enjoy at your restaurant.

Now, I like me salads - although I dislike lettuce, I love spinach, and your other vegetables are acceptable (eg today I had broccoli cabbage, beets (love beets!), quinoa, garbanzos, carrots and sunflower seeds. Vinegar. 

But I like a bit of protein.  E.g. ar Pita Pit, my favorite lunch place, I usually have a strong me beef or chicken, with a pile of vegetables comparable to what I got today at Sweet Tomato.  No cheese - fork style, i.e. without the pita bread, this is basically a salad. With two differences from a salad at Sweet Tomato: the protein, and I the fact that I have the meat, the onions, peppers, and mushrooms warmed up on grill.  I can live without the warming up - I mention it just in passing - but I really like the protein. Satiates me, so I do not get hungry until dinner.

In my mind Sweet Tomato is not a "healthy salad" restaurant; instead I think of your restaurant as a "junk food" place, because of the pizza slices and pasta and dessert and muffins and...  The stuff I try to avoid eating, but which I might eat because the salad is insufgicienyly satiating or filling.

Now I understand that serving bits of grilled steak at a buffet might not fit your business model. Which is why I mention tofu.

Apart from this - well, in conjunction with this, the relatively minor annoyance of 100x markups on a cup of tea are the last straw.